What adverse medical effects does paint have?

I used to paint murals and such. Some of the paint got on my pants. One pair of underpants also got paint on them. At the time my parents insisted that I continue to wear them instead of discarding them. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Now I’m starting to wonder whether the paint, because of its proximity to my genitals, could have irreversibly damaged or otherwise negatively impacted them?

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From PressTV

Be that as it may wouldn’t the exposure come from being near wet paint and breathing in the vapors?

Dry paint is unlikely to be dangerous. Some paints may be releasing solvents as gasses for a long time, and thus have negative effects if you spend a lot of time in a poorly ventilated room with walls covered in them, and some paints may be dangerous if you ingest or inhale the dry stuff, but dry paint on your pants? You’re much more likely to have damage from inhaling the paint fumes while working, than from the paint diffusing through your skin and into your balls.

a hard paint chip on your underwear could certainly irritate your genitals by abrasion.

Sounds like a fun night.


The faintly sweet smell of latex paints are glycols, glycol ethers, and glycol esters. since they are fairly water soluble, the body does absorb them and they are nasty. They are slow to dry too. Once the paint is dry, it is largely biologically inert except the really old, mostly pre WWII, that has large amounts of lead.

The highly costly regulations that went into effect 40 years ago added very little protection to the consumer. Existing paints at that time hardly had enough lead in them to hurt anything.

I only worked as a painter for about 2 months during the summer. I don’t believe that I inhaled the paint any more than my coworkers. I’m not sure how long it took for the paint to dry. Are the infertility problems permanent and irreversible? Or do they end when one’s exposure to the paint ends? Or, because, there was paint on the outside of my boxers (i.e., not on the side that my genitals touch), and because I continued to wear them for about a day/2weeks for some time, I could have sustained permanent fertility problems?

You are worrying unnecessarily. Ignore any panic merchants who try to alarm you to the contrary. The studies that show problems with some fumes in paint mean only that heavy long term exposure to paint produces a measurable average drop in fertility. “Measurable” in this context does not mean “large” it just means it can be measured. The studies mean merely that someone who works with paint a great deal (ie a professional, for years) who would otherwise have had a very very very low chance of infertility may through long term exposure have merely a very very low risk of infertility.

Millions of home handymen have some paint on their old working clothes or overalls. Millions of them also have children. Stop worrying. There are a large number of almost but not quite entirely baseless health scares at any given time. Very few matter. A few months of painting and some drops of paint on your shorts are far less of a concern than stressing yourself out over this sort of thing.

I should add: I’m not meaning to suggest that VOC’s are a good thing, and avoiding exposure seems to be a good idea all else being equal, but you sound way more worried than is justified.

Long term exposure to paint fumes is also a contributor to bladder cancer. To the best of my knowledge, this is not true of dried paint on panties

You wear the same underwear for 2 weeks at a time?
I don’t think any girl will ever let you get close enough to have to worry about ‘fertility’! :slight_smile:

Somebody once told me that the reason that you get incredibly thirsty when you work with water-based paint is that there’s something in the paint affects kidney function. Is there any truth to this, and if so, what is the offending compound?

Where did you hear this?

Check http://bladdercancersupport.org/

I’m supposed to hunt for this on a bladder cancer site? I highly doubt that it is a common link. I find the link to be dubious, bunt I’m interested to see if there is anything to it. As far as I know, standard house paint is pretty innocuous. There are VOC’s but nothing high on the problem list. Inhaling high concentrations for long periods of time is probably not advisable. How in the world they would link paint to something as specific and far removed from exposure as cancer of the bladder is a bit perplexing.

The hydrocarbons in solvent based paint don’t enter the blood stream nearly as quickly. The water soluble glycol compounds go right into the blood stream with nasty effects.

Glycols aren’t all that bad, and they certainly don’t penetrate the skin very easily. I doubt there is much in the way of straight chain hydrocarbons in water based paint. Anyway, even if these compounds got into the blood AND were considered carcinogenic, that would give systemic cancer, not specifically bladde cancer.

What are people doing with paint that their exposure is this high? I would be much more concerned about the paint thinner than the paint itself, and for that I would be most concerned about hepatoxicity. I exposed my self enough for several life times by now.

One of my best friends worked as a painter for about 3 months during the summer, He didn’t believe that inhaled the paint any more than his co-workers, He said that he is some what in the better position with out any effects. I’m not sure how long it took for the paint to dry. Are the infertility problems permanent and irreversible? Could you please produce some more attachments for the more detailed view?
Decorators Manchester

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